My buddy Rich sent me and another friend a Facebook message this morning that contained this little brainbuster:
Mindbender: Would you guys rather see UVA win the ACC regular season and ACC Tournament then lose the first weekend of the NCAA’s OR finish 2nd or 3rd in the league and get beat the first day of the ACC Tournament BUT make it to the Final Four?
First of all, how awesome is it that we’re even having a discussion about UVa threatening to win the ACC and make a run in March? Very. It’s very awesome.
For me, it breaks down like this:
3.) Win the ACC regular season.
This would be a fine accomplishment, but everyone knows that the real ACC Champion emerges in the second weekend in March, and that the regular season champion is almost immediately forgotten once the tournament winner cuts down the nets. It’s sad but true.
2.) Win the ACC Tournament.
The Tournament has been my favorite sporting event since I was little, and I find it incredibly frustrating and increasingly hard to believe that we haven’t advanced past Friday since 1995. Winning the ACCT for the first time since 1976 would mean a lot to me — especially since I’ll be there — and winning it on top of the first outright regular season title since 1981 would ensure this team a permanent spot in Virginia lore. However, it’s not quite the NCAA Tournament, and I think we’re all hungry for some success on a national stage. That leads me to number one…
1.) Advance to the Final Four.
Nothing would be more fun than watching this group of kids and CTB cut a swath through the NCAA Tournament field and reap all of the national accolades and attention that would come with such a run — even if it meant losing on Friday in the ACC Tournament and finishing second to ‘Cuse in the final conference standings. Think with me for a second. If you’re reading this site, you probably watch a fair amount of college basketball, particularly in March. Imagine having a personal stake (not just a financial one, if you’re into that) in every weekend of the Dance, and believing for the entire month that this team — your team — could win it all. Think of the NIT banner that hangs from the rafters in JPJ, and imagine hanging another Final Four banner next to it. As memorable as winning both stages of the ACC race would be for me and our fans, a Final Four run would be memorable for us and everyone else that follows the sport and would be a selling point for this program for years to come. I’m taking that.